A prolific bicycle thief has been jailed after being caught in the act by a regional daily journalist.
Derby Telegraph court and legal affairs reporter Martin Naylor filmed David Wileman, pictured, using bolt croppers to cut a lock attached to a mountain bike outside Derby bus station.
Martin called the police and sent the film to officers, leading to his arrest.
Wileman, 43, has been jailed for 34 weeks after pleading guilty at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court to 18 bicycle thefts in Derby city centre between May and July.
Martin told the Telegraph: “I couldn’t believe the brass neck of this guy. I was walking to Derby Crown Court and as I crossed Traffic Street I heard a bus horn sounding loudly behind me.
“I looked back and saw this scruffy looking bloke riding across busy lanes of traffic. I could sense he was up to something so I kept my eye on him as he passed me and then rode over to the bike racks outside the bus station.
“As soon as I saw him get out a set of bolt croppers I knew what he was up to so I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures and video of him.
“He just snapped the lock, calmly put the croppers back in his rucksack and rode off on the bike he had stolen while wheeling the other bike alongside him.”
Martin and a second witness spoke to each other at the scene and both agreed to call the police.
He added: “I wasn’t prepared to confront the bloke there and then because he had a set of metal bolt croppers in his hand. “I called 101 straight away and gave them all the details of what I had seen.
“When I told them I had pictures and video of what I witnessed they were delighted and I forwarded them to PC [Tenielle] Hardwick. To hear that she and her team had caught Wileman and charged him was really pleasing.”
PC Hardwick told the Telegraph: “The sentence is a deterrent to anyone else coming into the city to steal bikes and we’ve noticed a reduction in the amount of bikes being reported as stolen.”